Making a terrarium with a thick layer of carpet-like moss was always a dream of mine, but it was dream that was out of reach. Our climate doesn’t lend itself to moss, being too hot and, even in winter, too dry. If you head to the foothills or the mountains you are more likely to find lichen and tangles of hairy, dry moss on the forest floor. I contemplated buying moss from a wetter, darker climate and seeing if I could keep it alive within glass walls. I thought about this for years but never got around to buying some.
Sometimes you find the things you need in the least likely of places. A few weeks ago I went to a baby shower for my dear friend Ellen, at a place affectionately known as the ranch, and when the party was over we were all ushered outside for picture time. While family and friends took their turn I wandered about the yard taking photos, as I’m wont to do, and I found it. Moss! All over the ground! I picked up great emerald chunks and turned them over in my hand. They were shingles from the roof of an old barn that enjoyed copious amounts of shade during the day. The moss and the wood of the shingle had fused together to become one single organism. The moss was dry and hard but I felt that it could be revived if I took it home and gave it water and shade.
And here’s why my friend Ellen is so great: Here I am picking up dead moss attached to rotten shingles on her family’s property, gleefully asking her if I can keep them, keep all the precious bits of moss that looked like an infected dried-out sponge and she not only said yes but she offered to get me a bag. That girl’s a keeper.
Operation Gleefully Shove Your Friend’s Moss in Bag was a success and a few sips of water later and these babies have a new lease on life. I found the large terrarium container at an estate sale recently. The smaller one is actually a brandy snifter that I found while thrifting. The deer was part of a vintage lot of Christmas goodies I indulged in before Treasures to Find closed.
I’ll be selling both containers as a set in my shop once I have time to do some uploading.